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Impressive performances from Rhys Nightingale at The Suffolk Golf Club

Rhys Nightingale played some impressive golf last weekend at the Suffolk Golf Club. The course had held up well to the relentless mid-week rain. The weekend’s dry but cold weather combined with soft receptive greens, obviously suited Nightingale’s game.

He won Saturday’s Stableford with 40 points and on Sunday carded a stunning score of 44 points to win again. Consequently, he is the Saturday Order of Merit league joint winner alongside Christopher Smith and Steve Hubbard (no countback applies) for the first quarter of the Captains’ year.

Nightingale also finished runner-up in the Sunday Order of Merit league. A remarkable achievement considering he been a member of the club less than a year. Hubbard came second on countback on Saturday and Stephen Brown was third.

Rhys Nightingale on ther first tee at the Suffolk GC. Picture: Chris Boughton (27244350)
Rhys Nightingale on ther first tee at the Suffolk GC. Picture: Chris Boughton (27244350)

On Sunday, Chris Tate finished in second spot beating Steven Dimon on countback. Both carded 39 points.

There was no Wednesday competition at the Suffolk with heavy overnight rain closing most of our local golf clubs. The Midweek Order of Merit league table therefore remains unchanged. With just one match to go the leading positions are: Ivan Snelling 51pts, James Edgar 45, Steve Moye 38 and Martin Levens 36.

The Suffolk was, however, open for play on Monday and in the Seniors’ Stableford Ed Stone top scored carding 41 points, with Brian Clarke just a point back in 2nd spot. Maurice Rose’s 39 points took third place.

Thetford Golf Club

David Clarke & Mick Gooch combined well to win round four of Thetford’s Winter League, but it was runners-up Tony Brooks & Ross Sanford who stretched their lead in the overall competition. Clarke, who plays off five, and 17-handicapper Gooch came in with 44pts in the Four-Ball Better-Ball competition on Sunday in their first outing of the season. The highlights of the round were Clarke’s birdies at the 6th, 10th and 16th.

Brooks & Sanford added 42pts to their tally for a total of 153 and a seven-point lead over the rest of the field with two rounds left to play. Sanford birdied the 5th and then finished strongly with further birdies at 16 and 18.

Third place went to Neil Elers & Ashley Forbes with 39pts, beating Shaun Langham & Richard Scott on countback.Elers/Forbes are second overall with 146.

The next round of the competition is a Foursomes on Sunday, January 26 with the final 4BBB round on February 16.

Maurice Anderson won the January Seniors’ Stableford at Thetford with 38pts, pipping Alan Brown on countback. Anderson (10hcp) had birdies at the 15th and 17th which proved decisive, as 13-handicap Brown finished with four consecutive bogeys.

Andrew Long recorded his fifth hole-in-one with a perfect hybrid four shot at the 208-yard 11th. He said he saw it all the way as it headed towards the pin, bouncing short and rolling gently into the hole. Andrew, who plays off 12, was taking part in the New Year Texas Scramble alongside Phil Beer, Julie Arthur and Ron McMullin.

He has donated to the Captains’ Charity, the Colman Centre in Norwich, to commemorate the feat. He has had two previous aces at Flempton and one at both Aldeburgh and Sheringham.

Thetford member Giles Evans, who is now a professional, teamed up with Club Champion Owen Mills in the Thetford Winter ProAm. They started at the 14th and Evans had birdies at the 17th, 9th and 12th against one bogey to stand two under par with just the par-5 13th to play.

His second shot just missed the green on the right but he chipped on – and then three-putted for a bogey and a round of 71. That meant he missed out on the professionals’ prize, which went to Alex Holmes of Great Yarmouth & Caister who had five birdies in a round of 70.

Evans and Mills finished joint third in the ProAm with 41pts, three behind the winners. Weather conditions were excellent – chilly, but dry – and all the winners praised the course in their speeches.

A total of 50 pairs entered the event. Thetford pair Evans and Mills finished joint third in the ProAm.

Suffolk County Golf Union

Suffolk County have announced the draw for this year’s team knock-out competitions.In the Tolly Cup (10-18hcp) Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and The Suffolk all have first round byes with Flempton drawn away at Seckford.

Stowmarket are at home in round two against tough opponents (Felixstowe) and the Suffolk and Bury will both have challenging away fixtures. On the same day, Sunday, April 26, in the Hambro Cup (max hcp9), Bury and the Suffolk have round one byes again while Stowmarket host Gorleston.

Flempton face a tricky match at Rookery Park with the prospect of a round two match, with home advantage, against local rivals Bury.

In the Stenson Shield (scratch) Flempton and the Suffolk enjoy first round byes while Stowmarket host Ipswich and Bury entertain Newton Green. Bury were the Stenson Champions in 2018.

The Beaumont Trophy is for senior golfers with handicaps between 13 and 20 and the first-round matches will be played during week commencing May 11. Flempton are at home to Thorpeness, Bury visit St Clements, Stowmarket travel to Gorleston and the Suffolk are away at Brett Vale.

In the first round of the Parks Trophy (handicap 12 and under) Bury and Flempton have difficult away journeys to Brettt Vale and Felixstowe respectively. Stowmarket take on Rookery Park at home. The Suffolk have not entered a team.

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